So, a while ago I was sharing a house with some friends. One of them, we’ll call him “Matt”, read a review of a foreign-language film on the internet somewhere, which is weird, because he only visits Pornhub and I didn’t think they did movie reviews. But apparently, this film was really good, so we watched it.
Fuck you Matt. I know you’re reading this. Fuck you.
‘Mars et Avril’ is a Canadian film that somehow manages to be Eurotrash, and normally I’d never even use that word. At least, not as a derogative. But in this case, “Eurotrash” is probably one of the nicest words I could have used; other appropriate words include, but are not limited to:
“crap”, “bollocks”, “boring”, “pretentious”, “wank”, “masturbatory”, “redundant”, “tautological”, “snobbish”, “smug”, “annoying”, “fuck”, “arsewater”, “nonsensical”, “eyebrows” and “idiotic”.
I hate this film. Most other films I’d watch again before reviewing, but no, nothing could make me want to re-watch ‘Mars et Avril’. Not even a set-in-stone guarantee of mind-blowing sex with the entire cast of ‘Reaper’. The only thing this film guarantees is that by the end I’ll be sat in the shower, crying and drawing on myself.
I’m going to use the phrase “or something” a lot in this review. Really, that should have been the film’s title, especially because “Random Events In A Random Order And A Lot Of Meaningless Dialogue” is too long to fit on a DVD case.
It starts with some pretentious arse-wank concert with some old men playing weird instruments. There’s some buffoonery about how the old main guy plays instruments shaped like women because the shape of the woman’s body changes the sound OR SOMETHING. None of it made sense.
He picks the models for his instruments, then everyone thinks he sleeps with them OR SOMETHING but he doesn’t, but he apparently has some legendary sex-life but we only find out about that when everyone acts surprised that he doesn’t have some amazing sex life and by now I’m already confused and angry.
A lot, and I mean most of, the story of this film occurs without us actually seeing it; instead we just see the character’s reactions to the story that presumably happened, OR SOMETHING. If the story made sense, then this would be a bold and creative way of telling it, but the story doesn’t make sense, so instead it’s just stupid.
I’ll try and summarise the rest of the story in a paragraph:
Some dudes are going to Mars but might not be, as they might be holograms. The girl sleeps with the old dude, who hadn’t fucked anyone before and everyone’s shocked by this. Some guy without eyebrows is upset about this specific fucking as he wanted to fuck the girl because she was attractive OR SOMETHING. Both she and the old dude step in a teleporter which we never see used in the film previously, but she ends up on Mars, where the astronauts are all bored because apparently they thought there was a rollercoaster there, then she almost dies but they get her back to Earth but now the old dude is dying but they use his lungs to replace hers because, and I shit you not, they genuinely think that an eighty-year-old’s lungs will be in top-notch condition because he plays woodwind. Credits roll.
Was this film meant to be funny? Because it plays like a parody. Nothing that anybody does makes any sense. The old dude calls the teleporter people to tell them that someone has literally disappeared and is probably dead OR SOMETHING, and they just tell him it’s not their problem and that he should fuck off. But, this isn’t portrayed as some corporate nightmare dystopia, that’s just how people act, OR SOMETHING.
Then there’s all this nuisance about how the Mars mission is actually an illusion, or hologram OR SOMETHING. The film thinks it’s so clever playing with all these high-end philosophical concepts, but that’s all it’s doing, is playing with them. I used to play with my dad’s power-tools but that didn’t make me a fucking builder. It did make me nervous around cordless drills, however.
I love weird, off-the-wall science fiction. ‘Farscape’ is great, ‘Solaris’ is brilliant, but ‘Mars et Avril’ is just meaningless. It fails to entertain because nothing in it is entertaining. It asks questions that nobody wants answered, it answers nothing in terms of its own story, its characters are baffling to the point that they could be figures in a dream-sequence from another film… The whole thing is tripe.
The film fails to establish key plot-points upon which it later relies. The teleporter network is one; the main character’s status as a sex icon is another. The fact that the music he plays slows time down OR SOMETHING is left pointless, because apparently that doesn’t apply if you’re trying to sleep with someone OR SOMETHING.
‘Mars et Avril’ seems to assume that we, the audience, are already completely familiar with the world in which it is set, which could be fine if it wasn’t so random and ridiculous.
The special effects are appalling, something I’d be willing to forgive if it didn’t rely upon them so much. If you want to create a completely zany and imaginative world, you need to be able to do it believably. Alternatively, work within your limitations! Instead, this film aims high and lands so, so low.
The smartest bit of the film by far is the fact that there’s a character who’s a “Pneumatologist”, who is an expert in both spirituality AND breathing disorders. That one bit of wordplay is as close as this film gets to quality. Of course, the character in question is some over-the-top self-indulgent pointless-drivel-peddling fuckbadger, so even the one GOOD bit of the film is ruined. Well done, film, well done.
Basically, this film is rubbish. Utter, abject, narcissistic chaff pinched out from the over-creative sphincter of the kind of person who watches dreck like this and then tells his friends about how he understood all of the intricacies of the plot and the deep meaningfulness of its characterisation whilst the people subject to his inane self-indulgence silently contemplate how easily they could hide his fetid carcass.
The only redeeming features of this film are some of the trivia about its production. Feel free to read those, and then never, ever subject yourself to the most pretentious hour-and-a-half of your short, precious life.